B&O E-27b's on the B&S 1930

Discussion relating to the B&O up to it's 1972 merger into Chessie System. Visit the B&O Railroad Historical Society for more information. Also discussion of the C&O up to 1972. Visit the C&O Historical Society for more information. Also includes the WM up to 1972. Visit the WM Historical Society for more information.
Nicolai3985
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 11:21 am
Location: Pennsylvania

B&O E-27b's on the B&S 1930

Post by Nicolai3985 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:56 pm

I've been cataloging a large collection of Buffalo and Susquehanna train reports that survive in the archives of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg. I came across an oddity that I'm hoping the B&O community could shed more light on...

In early August 1930 an Inspection Train was run over the entire B&S system. I had seen records of several other inspection trains in the reports, but never over the entire system at once. Also, the southern legs of this train were powered by B&O 2031 - something which flagged my attention.

On August 12, E-27b 2721 was piloted by a B&S engineer (James Jordan) from Sykesville to DuBois. 2715 followed on August 27 (DC Strait piloting). I've only made it through September's records, but the two locomotives appear to have been used quite regularly after their arrival on the extra freights and mixed trains operating out of DuBois. A common entry in the train orders from this time period require that the B&O locomotives not be doubleheaded or run light together as many of the bridges were not sufficiently strong for these larger consolidations.

My question is: what was the reason for the two B&O locomotives being used on the B&S 15 months before the eventual B&O takeover? There were 28 of the B&S consolidations (soon to become classified as E-60's) operational during September 1930, which would have been enough to cover the typical traffic patterns of that time. Thus, the B&S wasn't terribly short of power.

Any thoughts or additional information from the B&O side?

Thanks,

-Nick

hutton_switch
Posts: 218
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Location: Feasterville Trevose, PA

Re: B&O E-27b's on the B&S 1930

Post by hutton_switch » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:11 am

My supposition is that this was as you stated it to be - an inspection train doing what any common sense prospective buyer would do before plunking down a large amount of cash - checking out the infrastructure of the entire B&S system to see what might be needed to rebuild, repair, or upgrade whatever was necessary for its locomotives and equipment to run safely over the B&S trackage. A lot of this would involve not only the cost of needed repair and rebuild, but the projected amount of income from customers along the line to make the sale and cost of needed repairs/rebuilds worthwhile for the B&O. This inspection train probably had an office car staffed with the appropriate officials (operations and infrastructure) from both railroads to document and discuss whatever they found as they traveled the system. Once the B&O officials got back to Baltimore, they obviously ran the figures (cost of repairs/rebuilds against projected income) and found that the B&S would be a beneficial buy for the B&O, as it then was, but that to run B&O equipment on the B&S, it probably would entail considerable costs for upgrades. And as we now know, they probably found that it would be best to run former B&S equipment on that system and not bring in any B&O equipment, which for the most part, did happen.

Now as far as a B&S engineer running a B&O E-27b locomotive, which probably was similar to the B&S hand-me-downs that became class E-60 (I don't have my Edson steam locomotive roster close at hand), my guess is that it probably was agreed upon to have a B&S engineer that was familiar with the trackage he ran over regularly, to run a B&O locomotive that was similar in characteristics to the B&S locomotives. I don't think I would have wanted to have a B&O engineer run a B&S locomotive on this system-wide inspection tour. The B&O probably wanted to see how one of its own Consolidation class locomotives similar to one Consolidation class on the B&S would run over B&S tracks, and at the time before the sale was made, they probably had the idea of B&O equipment possibly running over B&S trackage. Keep in mind that EVERYTHING at that point in time was ALL EXPLORATORY, with reasonable "what ifs" thrown into the mix.
Wade Rice
Member, B&O RR Historical Society
http://www.borhs.org
Daniel Willard (1860-1942) and Jervis Langdon, Jr. (1905-2004) - Two of B&O's best presidents and managers!
President Leonor Loree (1858-1940) brought the B&O into the 20th century!

Nicolai3985
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 11:21 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: B&O E-27b's on the B&S 1930

Post by Nicolai3985 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:21 pm

Wade, thanks for your response. Makes sense to me and confirms some of my suspicions.

I did a little more digging into my notes and the Inspection Train was run on August 5-7; roughly a week before the first E-27b arrived in Sykesville for transfer to the B&S. I will keep a look out for how long the loaners stuck around or if anything else special happens with them. The B&S train reports go right up to the 1 Jan 1932 switchover.

BR&P
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:58 pm

Re: B&O E-27b's on the B&S 1930

Post by BR&P » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:53 pm

A pilot would be required if a given engineer - foreign or same road - was supposed to operate over a territory he was not qualified on. In this case, MY question would not be why was a B&S pilot on a B&O train, but why a B&O crew was on a B&S train at all. It apparently was not a detour movement, and I would expect both a B&S engineer AND conductor would be in charge of the train. If anything. perhaps a B&O engineer would be put on the loco if the B&S man was not familiar with some variation of controls, but overall it should have been a B&S deal all the way IMHO.

hutton_switch
Posts: 218
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:41 pm
Location: Feasterville Trevose, PA

Re: B&O E-27b's on the B&S 1930

Post by hutton_switch » Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:37 am

BR&P wrote:A pilot would be required if a given engineer - foreign or same road - was supposed to operate over a territory he was not qualified on. In this case, MY question would not be why was a B&S pilot on a B&O train, but why a B&O crew was on a B&S train at all. It apparently was not a detour movement, and I would expect both a B&S engineer AND conductor would be in charge of the train. If anything. perhaps a B&O engineer would be put on the loco if the B&S man was not familiar with some variation of controls, but overall it should have been a B&S deal all the way IMHO.
The basis for the initial question by the original poster was that this was an INSPECTION train apparently requested by the B&O as a potential buyer of the B&S, NOT as a detour movement. It would be the other way around for a B&S engineer/conductor to be the crew in charge, not a B&O engineer. The B&O engineer might have been one experienced with operations similar to those commonly used on the B&S, and he was just "along for the ride", and as a man experienced with similar operations, he would be able to give his expert opinion to the B&O officials on the inspection train as to the advantages/disadvantages of operating on this road. Look at this situation similarly as if you were interested in the purchase of a particular automobile and the salesman were taking you along for a short spin in the car you were interested in buying before going ahead with completing the paperwork for the sale.
Wade Rice
Member, B&O RR Historical Society
http://www.borhs.org
Daniel Willard (1860-1942) and Jervis Langdon, Jr. (1905-2004) - Two of B&O's best presidents and managers!
President Leonor Loree (1858-1940) brought the B&O into the 20th century!

BR&P
Posts: 4155
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:58 pm

Re: B&O E-27b's on the B&S 1930

Post by BR&P » Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:24 pm

hutton_switch wrote: The basis for the initial question by the original poster was that this was an INSPECTION train apparently requested by the B&O as a potential buyer of the B&S, NOT as a detour movement. It would be the other way around for a B&S engineer/conductor to be the crew in charge, not a B&O engineer. The B&O engineer might have been one experienced with operations similar to those commonly used on the B&S, and he was just "along for the ride", and as a man experienced with similar operations, he would be able to give his expert opinion to the B&O officials on the inspection train as to the advantages/disadvantages of operating on this road. Look at this situation similarly as if you were interested in the purchase of a particular automobile and the salesman were taking you along for a short spin in the car you were interested in buying before going ahead with completing the paperwork for the sale.
Original post says the B&S men were pilots, not engineers of the trains. The fact that pilots were needed indicates the engineer of the train was not qualified on the territory. B&S would dictate who was the person in charge of the engine over their line either through union rules or by selection by top brass, and it is inconceivable they would select one of their own men who was not qualified.

It's possible B&O wanted someone intimately familiar with their own loco to give a comparison. OP - is there any mention on the DS sheets of a conductor pilot? My guess would be no - meaning a B&S conductor was in charge, B&S engineer overseeing a B&O engineer. Wonder who supplied the fireman?

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